Saturday, January 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Yo....we bought you a Screaming Banshee Baby and some General Tao Chicken !

Someone should have warned us. At the beginning of this past week our mission was to find a place to go to celebrate the young one's birthday. Yes, YO turned 19 this week. Old enough to drink but still too young to gamble in Vegas. When I asked YO what he wanted to do for his birthday he was indecisive. First let me tell you that this kid should be crowned the King of SushiLand. I have never seen anyone eat more sushi than YO at a single seating. He will only go "all you can eat" and definitely gives the owners of the restaurant a nervous tick. They actually lose money on him when he walks through the door. But as he says "they are all his boys" and they love when he comes to their establishment to clear out their california rolls. It's been claimed that certain Sushi chefs have developed carpel tunnel syndrome because of YO.  Anyways, he rules out Sushi because he had already had his FILL this week. I make a multitude of suggestions and we unanimously agree to make a reservation at YENCHING PALACE in the "upscale" Bayview Village Mall. This place has been around for eons. They are pretty consistent with their food and recently renovated the premises to include "my" leather dining room chairs. Along with the chairs, a coat of paint and maybe a couple of new fixtures came a price increase on their menu. What used to be $9.95 for a dish is now $15.95 a dish. Well? You gotta pay for the chairs some way!

Our reservation was set for 7 p.m. We arrive starving as usual and are seated next to a large group of people to our right. We can see that for a Wednesday night the restaurant is pretty much at capacity. At the rear of the restaurant is another large table of approximately 10 people. One of whom was a baby (not sure how old he was but I would say one year to still apt to disturb age). The second we sat down we couldn't help but notice that the baby was NOT HAPPY. He was continually screaching at the top of his little lungs. This screaming was met with uncomfortable stares from other patrons in the restaurant. YO mentioned that this was unacceptable. Especially since this was HIS birthday celebration and we really were looking forward to peacefully chowing down on 6 to 8 dishes of oriental cuisine plus appetizers and maybe dessert. At first I thought that the "mother" was going to bounce the baby right out of the restaurant where they belonged but after enduring several minutes of "banshee like" shrills it was evident that HE was going nowhere and WE were stuck listening to the wailing. I know Steve doesn't put up with this type of crap so I could see him wavering in his seat. We advised him to sit still. He tried. He started tapping chopsticks to divert the noise that was ricocheting off the walls. After 10 minutes of the "banshee serenade" Steve let his undiagnosed turrets syndrome loose. All we could hear was this.. SHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! At that point the whole restaurant fell into a moment of silence.....with the exception of Banshee Baby. He was still going at it and his mother just didn't seem to give a hoot. She simply bounced him around while everyone at their table continued eating or in our case not eating because we had just ordered and we were sorry we did.

Here's the question of the day? What would you have done in this situation? I have polled a few people and their answers have been as follows:
1. Buy a bow and arrow and hope that you were paying attention in Summer camp archery class.
2. Come to a restaurant prepared to wear Air traffic controller ear plugs
3. Pull the fire alarm
4. Wear a t-shirt that says "I'm on the tail end of H1N1 but I don't think I'm contagious anymore"
5. Rent a baby and bring it to the restaurant to have a "banshee screaming" competition
6. Order take-out and take it out
Do what we did....
Step 1: Asked the Manager to kindly request that the so called "parent" of the said "banshee" remove herself from the establishment to calm her child down so that we and the rest of the crowd could eat without listening to the "call of the wild".
Step 2: Once the Manager requests the exit of the said "banshee" gently guide the mother/banshee to the nearest exit safely by pointing her in the right direction ( that's what I did) - I made a thumbs out sign towards the door - okay, maybe not too discreet but I was starting to lose my hearing by then.
Step 3: When the said "mother of the said "banshee" refused to vacate the premises -  Steve slooowly pushed his chair out from beneath him and made his way over the offending table to ask if " they would mind taking the "SCREAMING BANSHEE" to the outer edges of the restaurant so that everyone in the place can enjoy their meals".

Okay, here's where it got ugly. The grandfather of Banshee Baby pulled his chair out, got up and told Steve to F off. Yes, folks. I am not kidding. Not only did he tell him to F off in front of the entire restaurant but the table he was "hosting" was filled with other children as well. And the "Grandpa of the Year Award" goes to...

Steve then calmly once again asked if there was anyway they could take Mr. Screaming Mimi outside for a few minutes? Here's were it got uglier. The father of Banshee Baby stood up along with another LARGE burly looking fellow and basically threatened Steve. You have to know Steve to realize that he handled himself in a very cool and collected way. Not once did he start shouting at these Cretans. You also have to know that NO ONE F's with Steve. He is accustomed to defending himself from his past when he was known to his classmates as MadDog Steven. With a handle like that would you start with him? I wouldn't. So MadDog simply asked these three men that were hovering near him another question. "What are you doing to do now? Fight me"? "Cuz if you do...go ahead..hit me first and when your face comes up from the ground you are going out of here in cuffs" he informed.  Just to give you a view from our table (FO, MO and YO) threw a couple of words of wisdom into the mix but basically reminded me of the "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" monkeys. They were waiting for the first punch to be thrown before any fancy "Bruce Lee" moves were made.

After the yelling subsided (keep in mind that Steve is still calm, he was not the yeller but the Yellee). Steve simply informed this group that they are Trailer Trash Hillbillies who should keep out of public places and then he sat down because the dumplings were getting cold on the table.

I bet you are wondering what the BANSHEE was doing during this whole episode? HE WASN'T CRYING ANYMORE but as you can see in the photo that was taken by Paparazzi Steve, Banshee Boy was trying to dislocate his mother's head.

Confuscious say " when anger arises, think of the consequences....especially if your Chinese food is getting cold" and the moral of this story is.....when you dine with Banshees you get free fried bananas, a bit of a headache and 10% off the bill.

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